"The Story of How I Became a Child Life Volunteer" – by K. Elina

K. Elina is currently a Kids' Health Links Foundation Ambassador and is a former Upopolis user. She took it upon herself to write this blog post on her experience with the peer-support platform, her passion for the profession of Child Life, and her life as a difference-maker. Thank you K. Elina for your dedication to Upopolis over the years and your commitment to making the world a better place. You are an inspiration!

 

"Having Mitochondrial Complex One and Four Disease means I am immunocompromised, and has caused neutropenia. This limits me from participating in community-based settings including doing things that interest me, like volunteering for hospitals. But as a teen, I was introduced to a virtual program called Upopolis. I first became a user, and eventually an online Mentor to other youth in various leadership roles on platform.
Then when I was 19, I gathered research in resources for Child Life Specialists (a profession that works with children, youth and families in hospitals) and participated in speaking events answering questions about my experience being a pediatric patient. I developed my own personal blog and over time, through learning from the Khan Academy's Entrepreneur courses and becoming a Khan Academy Support Advocate Volunteer, I learned how Entrepreneurship can impact the world.
While I will never be a Child Life Specialist, I do have the title of Child Life Volunteer. As an Artist, and with the many skill sets I’ve learned over time, I plan to deliver my skills for free to all Child Life Specialists. I know this profession makes a difference, and for any youth out there, no matter what challenges you face, there are many ways you can help make a difference.
After all, technology allowed me to accomplish anything. Everyone in my life shaped me, mentored me and cared for me as I am today, and because of this, I withstand the odds that were stack against me and push ahead. My most happiest part of all is my extreme gratitude to carry the title and term "Child Life Volunteer”.  A profession that works hard to make sure pediatric patients receive more then medicine but also receive the gift of being able to be Child or Teen during challenging times. And, maybe one day, becoming a Child Life Volunteer virtually like I did.
Either way, I take the title "Child Lifeclose to my heart, having volunteered for Upopolis and now the charity that founded the program, Kids’ Health Link Health Foundation. Without the support of Child Life professionals, who administer and manage Upopolis, I would not have made it this far. Imagine for a moment if a pediatric patients like me, who were isolated, didn't have Upopolis? What would have I become? 
Your funding dollars help many youth everyday on Upopolis. Your support helps users gain confidence, leadership and feel connected, like I did, because of the program. Please considering donating to Kids’ Health Links Foundation and supporting Upopolis so other youth can benefit too, get the peer-support available and the access youth-friendly information that Upopolis has to offer.
In Honour and Memory of my Papa who encouraged and supported me in my volunteer roles; who was the greatest supporter of what Upopolis did for me. Every donation made helps another pediatric patient benefit like I did."
- K. Elina

Celebrating 10 Years of Upopolis with 10 Amazing Months of Content for 10 Diagnosis!

Celebrating 10 Years of Upopolis with 10 Amazing Months of Content for 10 Diagnoses!

Who says birthday celebrations only last one day?!

To celebrate ten years of Upopolis, the programming team will be working with partners, potential partners and youth users to bring "Upoppers" ten months of focused and informative content to the medical resource library within the site - Uknow. This "U10" campaign will also work to raise awareness about Upopolis in hospitals across Canada and throughout various national healthcare communities.

Each of the ten months will focus on one of ten different patient populations/ diagnosis:

  • January - Auto Immune
  • February - Cardiology
  • March - Juvenile Arthritis/ Ortho
  • April - IBS &Crohn’s
  • May - Cystic Fibrosis
  • June - Rare Diseases
  • July / August - Camps
  • September - Childhood Cancer
  • October - Epilepsy
  • November - Diabetes
  • December - Amputee

Here is an example of U10 Programming happening monthly on Upopolis:

  • Weekly posts and content will be added to the site, like relevant info and facts related to the month's featured diagnosis.                                 
  • Upal Features, each month one or two Upals (youth in Upopolis' Leadership Program) will be interviewed and asked to share their stories. 
  • 1-2 users will be asked to lead the Crew Space (medical resource space) for the diagnosis of the month.  
  • Resource Development, youth and staff will be engaged from all Upopolis partner organizations to help with planning and creation of content and resources for the month.
  • New info and links will be added to the Crew Space for the diagnosis the month.
  • Existing relevant content on the site will be highlighted.

 

 

 

KHLF 2017 Year-in-Review

Here is just some of what we achieved in 2017!

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  • We reached 27 hospitals and organizations in Canada offering Upopolis to their youth. The new hub and spoke model we developed allows community hospitals, organizations and camps to partner with us too.
  • 24 crew spaces are available for youth to join on Upopolis. What is a crew space? These are diagnosis specific spaces, where youth can meet others with their diagnosis and find information and links especially for them.
  • The Upopolis team expanded. Now we have four certified child life specialists with over 50 combined years’ experience- that is an amazing team for our partner hospitals and their youth to have access to.
  • Upopolis underwent a visual refresh. Yes, the platform now has a new look with five new themes for users to select. The new themes and features were an action item identified by the youth.
  • Upopolis youth established their own Youth Advisory Council. Having youth from across the country (and maybe further) working on the same projects- so much potential and expertise!!!!
  • We had more youth then ever join the Upopolis Volunteer & Leadership Program. Currently, we have 14 users across the country active on Upopolis as Upals and Umentors. Not only are they gaining volunteer hours, but their leadership and mentor skills are growing too!
  • The team hosted an exhibit at the Association of Child Life Professionals Annual Meeting. The team went out to meet with child life professionals outside of Canada to gage their interest in offering Upopolis to their patients. The team also hosted exhibits at the Florida Association of Child Life Professionals Conference and the Paediatric Diabetes Network Professional Development in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Each month the team sends 600+ users and health care professional a Upopolis programming newsletter, called Unews. This newsletter helps to keep front line staff at the hospital up to date on what’s happening on Upopolis, perfect for answering youth’s questions or building their knowledge for when inviting youth to create a Upopolis account. It’s a perfect way to help with youth engagement too!
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  • The Upedia Webinar Series brought in experts in pediatric palliative care, legacy building, mindfulness, research on the importance of online support groups and child advocacy.
  • Webinar attendance averaged 200 plus per webinar with attendees from all over the world.
  • A new certificate program for webinar participants was implemented that streamlines the certificate process for not only the users but Upedia as well.
  • Upedia hosted booth at the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) conference in Las Vegas. The response was overwhelmingly positive. As a result we were featured as an amazing resource by the ACLP blog, and in their newsletter that reaches over 5000 Child Life Specialists!
  • Upedia reached over 1000 registered users and growing more every day!
  • Twitter followers increased by 180%!
  • We sent out a quarterly newsletter and monthly update to highlight new resources and happenings with Upedia to over 1200 recipients.
  • Upedia increased its database of resources by adding over 100 clinical resources and tools from various psychosocial domains. We also added a discussion board to highlight practical tools that Child Life Specialists can you use daily.

 

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  • We partnered with Raymond James as Umind's Presenting Sponsor
  • Further developed our partnership with Mohawk College; increased our student/faculty/alumni registration base, engaged professors in delivering webinars, and presented to staff and faculty in a number of programs within Community Services Department
  • Significantly grew the Umind membership base - with an increase of 54% over 2016
  • Significantly grew the Umind twitter follower base – with an increase of 63% over 2016
  • Completed 5 Umind webinars and increased overall attendance (up 49%) and satisfaction of attendees over 2016
  • Focused on ‘hot topic’ areas when building the online resource library (We added 301 new resources in 2017!)
  • Held initial conversations with the Dean of Social Services at Conestoga College to discuss how Umind can be used by the college which will continue in 2018

Umind Goals for 2018:

  • Increase membership by 80%
  • Continue to build our important partnership with Mohawk College; presenting to all Community Services faculty, and engaging at a student level to increase awareness of the platform and the number of those using and benefitting from Umind.
  • Continue to expand the Umind resource library – based on topics of interest brought forth by registered members and trends in the child and youth mental health realm

 

Upopolis Launches at Cape Breton Regional Hospital

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Brings a New Social Media Platform to Young Patients

Upopolis helps kids in hospital find medical information and stay safely connected to friends and other patients

Cape Breton, N.S. – Today, Cape Breton Regional Hospital paediatric patients join the Upopolis network, an innovative social media platform that helps young patients safely and securely access youth-friendly medical content, and stay connected with other patients as well as their families and friends while undergoing care.

Founded and created by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS Health, Upopolis.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and clinics. Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in youth-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient.

“Our unit functions on family centered care,” says Tracy Warren-Salt, Child Life Specialist, Pediatrics Unit, Cape Breton Regional Hospital. “We try to make the unit feel as much like home as possible.  Adding Upopolis is another way we can help reduce the anxiety of a hospital stay and make it as normal and positive an experience as possible for our patients and their families.”

In addition to remaining securely and privately connected with networks outside of the hospital or treatment centre while undergoing care, Upopolis also provides patients with familiar features of social networking such as personal profiles, newsfeed, instant chat, photo uploading and creating spaces based on common interests and/or diagnoses.

“Today, over 2,500 youth in children’s hospitals across Canada have been able to access Upopolis. This is made possible by the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Cape Breton Regional Hospital join our Upopolis family brings us one step closer to our goal of making Upopolis available across the country in every medical treatment facility that serves children and youth. We are excited for the patients to benefit from what the platform offers, and for them to take advantage of the opportunities for connection, collaboration and leadership that Upopolis brings to their hospital experience.”

KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. Since then it has expanded to 24 additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada. The Upopolis team and TELUS Health also work together to adapt the program to meet the specific needs of each facility, whether adding French language capabilities or information specific to mental health.

“For youth undergoing medical treatment, research shows us that the ability for them to stay connected with their support network, both inside and outside of the hospital, is a significant part of the healing process,” said Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health. “Through Upopolis and our extensive work using innovative technology to drive better health outcomes for Canadians, we are privileged to help youth stay connected to friends, family and others facing similar health challenges, as well as learn more about their health through access to online medical information in a safe and secure environment.”

About Cape Breton Regional

Cape Breton Regional Hospital, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is the regional referral and trauma centre for Cape Breton Island. The hospital is home to the Cape Breton Cancer Centre, the An Cala Palliative Care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and renal dialysis unit. It offers a variety of general and specialized services including medicine, surgery, obstetrics, paediatrics, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, pulmonary, neurology and clinical support services.

About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: Upopolis — targeting healthy connections for paediatric patients; Upedia — providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND — connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health. For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: kidshealthlinks.org.

 

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For more information, please contact:

Krista Naugler
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
902-885-5002
krista@kidshealthlinks.org

Lynn Gilbert
Cape Breton Regional
902-567-7760
lynn.gilbert@nshealth.ca

Jill Yetman
TELUS Media Relations
416-992-2639
jill.yetman@telus.com

A New Social Media Platform for Victoria General Hospital’s Pediatric Patients

A New Social Media Platform for Victoria General Hospital’s Pediatric Patients

Helping kids in hospital find information, connections and support through Upopolis

Victoria, B.C. – Victoria General Hospital has become the first hospital on Vancouver Island to join Upopolis; an innovative social support platform and networking tool giving young patients safe and secure access to kid-friendly medical content. Plus patients will find Upopolis a vital link to their families, friends and schools while in hospital.

“We are pleased to support initiatives that help young patients feel empowered while in our care,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Not only is Upopolis an age-appropriate learning tool that brings children who face similar challenges together on their health-care journeys; it also helps kids be kids through familiar social media channels.”

Founded and created by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS Health, Upopolis.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and clinics.

“Through the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters, today more than 2,000 youth across Canada have been able to take advantage of Upopolis,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Victoria General Hospital join our Upopolis family puts us one step closer to our goal of making Upopolis available across the country in every medical treatment facility that serves children and teens, and we are forging ahead towards making that a reality.”

Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in kid-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient. 

“The Victoria General Hospital serves a diverse patient population from across Vancouver Island,” said Dr. Brendan Carr, President and CEO of Island Health. “Upopolis can provide online social support for our patients and help them connect with others in a safe way, stay connected to their communities, and relate to other children and youth on a similar health care journey.”

In addition to remaining secure and privately connected with networks outside of the hospital or treatment centre while undergoing care, Upopolis also provides patients with familiar features of social networking such as personal profiles, a newsfeed, instant chat, photo uploading and creating spaces based on common interests and/or diagnoses.

“For youth undergoing medical treatment, research shows us that the ability for them to stay connected with their support network, both inside and outside of the hospital, is a significant part of the healing process,” said Paul Lepage, President, TELUS Health. “Through Upopolis and our extensive work using innovative technology to drive better health outcomes for Canadians, we are privileged to help youth to stay connected to friends, family and others facing similar health challenges, as well as learn more about their health through access to online information in a safe and secure environment.”

KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Since then it has expanded to 23 hospitals and health organizations across Canada. The Upopolis team and TELUS Health also work together to adapt the program to meet the specific needs of each facility, whether adding French language capabilities or information specific to mental health.

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About Island Health

Island Health, one of six health jurisdictions in British Columbia, provides health care and support services to more than 765,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.


With more than 19,000 staff, 1,900 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

 

About TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management. TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.

 

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: Upopolis -- targeting healthy connections for paediatric patients; Upedia -- providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND -- connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health. For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: kidshealthlinks.org.

 

For more information, please contact:

Krista Naugler
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
902.885.5002
krista@kidshealthlinks.org

Chris Shewchuk
Island Health Communications
250.370.8377
christopher.shewchuk@viha.ca

Jill Yetman
TELUS Media Relations
416.992.2639
jill.yetman@telus.com

 

Celebrating Upopolis and 2016 -- What a year!

Upopolis has had it's biggest and best year ever! 2016 has been an exciting year of growth for KHLF's flagship program. As we approach the year's end, we celebrate the amazing accomplishments that have increased value to users, and have made it possible for Upopolis to positively impact many more children and youth across Canada.

Key successes include:

  • Welcomed 6 new hospital partners, and 5 new community partners to the Upopolis community; doubling the number of total sites benefitting from the program.
  • Expanded our youth empowerment and volunteer opportunities with a new Umentor Training Program, a Uambassador role, and a series of contests that engage youth in creative and empowering ways.
  • In collaboration with Upopolis users, developed a video entitled, Ucope – showcasing youth across Canada sharing their positive coping strategies with other youth.
  • Established the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement “island”. This is new application of the program and a separate section of Upopolis that was launched specifically for youth who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
  • Hosted a 2-day conference for key representatives from Upopolis sites. Delegates came from organizations across Canada. Important topics around youth empowerment and how to enrich site content and programming for youth were discussed.
  • Continued the development of engaging digital medical content for youth like this video, IWK Lab Mini Series, Part 1: Getting Results. Creating and curating enriching content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources.

With such an amazing year behind us, we are dreaming even bigger for 2017!

Here are some 2017 goals:

  • Taking our first steps outside Canada. We are currently in discussions that would take Upopolis international with launches at children's hospitals in the United States and the UK within the year.
  • Doubling the Upopolis Grief and Bereavement "island" from 5 to 10 sites. 
  • Continuing the development of engaging digital medical content for youth. Creating and curating enriched content for our Uknow library of medical related videos and resources within Upopolis.
  • Developing and executing a national Upopolis Communications and Marketing Strategy. Our aim is to raise awareness about Upopolis amoung Canadian youth, caregivers, health care professionals and potential partners; expanding the number of sites and ultimately the number of youth positively impacted by the program.

With strong momentum heading towards the new year, we need support to continue our great work and achieve our goals. Please click here to donate!

 

Upopolis Now in Alberta!

On Wednesday June 29th, Stollery Children's Hospital launched Upopolis, becoming the first healthcare organization in Alberta to join this social network that connects hospitalized and chronically ill youth across Canada to one another, family and friends. 

“The Stollery has among the highest inpatient volumes in the country and serves a diverse patient population from across western Canada,” said Lois Wolgemuth, manager child life services, Stollery Children’s Hospital. “Upopolis can provide online social support for our patients and help them connect with others in a safe way, stay connected to their communities, and relate to other children and youth on a similar health care journey.”

Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in kid-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient.  

“Through the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters, today over 1,700 kids in children’s hospitals across Canada have been able to take advantage of Upopolis,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Stollery Children’s Hospital join our Upopolis family puts us a major step closer to our goal of bringing Upopolis to all Canadian children’s hospitals, of which there are now only 3 remaining. Our bigger vision is making Upopolis available in every medical treatment facility that serves children and teens across the country, and we are forging ahead towards making that a reality.”

For more info about this exciting event, check out the full press release here.  

KHLF opens applications for research project

KHLF is currently accepting applications from organizations who are interested in undertaking a research project to investigate online social networking among chronically ill youth.  With the significant rise in children and youth’s accessibility to wireless phones, text messaging, and online activities, there is also a growing rise in the use of social networking sites among children and youth.

The primary objective of this research grant is to increase the literature base examining the use of online support networks by chronically ill youth aged 10-18 years of age. Up to $40,000 in grant funding for research activities that take place over a 1 year (12 month) period is available. Organizations interested in applying can click here to access the KHLF 2015 Research Grant RFP and the KHLF Research Grant Application Form. If you have any questions, please email KHLF Program Director April Ganong at april@kidshealthlinks.org.

TELUS Community Boards donate $27,500 to KHLF!

Ottawa and Vancouver TELUS Community Boards Help Hospitalized Kids Stay Connected

(Toronto, ON) – Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) is excited to announce that we’ve received grant funding from the TELUS Ottawa and TELUS Vancouver Community Boards in the amounts of $12,500 and $15,000, respectively. Two-thirds of each grant will be donated to The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and BC Children’s Hospital in support of their UPOPOLIS programs. These funds will support the socialization and integration of UPOPOLIS Version 2.0 into therapeutic care and the daily practice of child life specialists, who care for children and youth during a very scary and challenging experience in their lives. This new version of the program, launched in 2014, has an updated user-interface, enhanced functionality and refreshed look and feel, making it even easier for hospitalized children and youth to connect with one another, with family and with friends. The balance of the funds will be used by Kids’ Health Links Foundation to provide support and develop best practices for UPOPOLIS in consultation with CHEO and BC Children’s Hospital.

“My heartfelt thanks go out to the TELUS Team for their powerful commitment to strengthen communities where they serve and for truly living the philosophy, ‘we give where we live’,” says Basile Papaevangelou, Chairman of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “It is because of TELUS and TELUS Community Boards’ ongoing support of our Foundation and the work that we do that makes it possible for us to positively impact the lives of young hospital patients across the country.”

Founded and created by KHLF and powered by TELUS Health, www.UPOPOLIS.com is Canada’s only private, secure and trusted online social network designed just for kids and teens receiving medical care in hospitals and youth treatment centres. UPOPOLIS provides familiar features of social networking, such as personal profiles, micro-blogging, newsfeed, instant chat, and photo uploading while giving patients the opportunity to stay up to date with schoolwork, and navigate through child-friendly health and wellness information verified and approved by health care professionals. Since 2009, TELUS Community Boards across Canada have donated $205,000 to Kids’ Health Links Foundation in support of UPOPOLIS implementations in children’s hospitals and UPOPOLIS program development.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.5 million customer connections, including 8.0 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.45 million Internet subscribers and 888,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by Executive Chairman Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 11 community boards across Canada have led the company’s support of grassroots charities and will have contributed $47 million in support of 3,700 local charities by the end of 2014, enriching the lives of more than two million Canadian children and youth. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

About the Kids’ Health Links Foundation

The Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. These initiatives include: UPOPOLIS — targeting healthy connections for pediatric patients; UPEDIA — providing resources supporting child life specialists; and UMIND — connecting professionals dedicated to child and youth mental health.

We believe that positive emotional well-being can be fostered by maintaining family connections and encouraging active social participation. By providing technology that enables this well-being through UPOPOLIS, we hope to help children heal faster and better overcome traumatic medical experiences.

KHLF and TELUS Health first launched the UPOPOLIS Program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton and since then it has expanded to 13 additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada including: BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver; IWK Health Centre in Halifax; CHEO in Ottawa; The Hospital for Sick Children and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto; CHU Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre; Montréal Lutherwood Youth Treatment Center in Waterloo; London Hospital for Sick Children in London; Emily’s House Pediatric Palliative Care Hospice in Toronto; Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s; Youth Treatment Centre in Paradise; and the Youth Addictions Treatment Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor.

For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit: www.kidshealthlinks.org.

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For more information, please contact:

April Ganong
Kids’ Health Links Foundation
905-817-1717
april@kidshealthlinks.org

Sarah Arden
TELUS Community Affairs – Ottawa
613-683-1710
sarah.arden@telus.com

Nicole MacLellan
TELUS Community Affairs – Vancouver
604-648-5862
nicole.maclellan@telus.com

Upopolis, KHLF & TELUS recognized in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

UPOPOLIS Rocked "The Rock"!

Our Newfoundland & Labrador launch of our UPOPOLIS Program was a great success! Though the temperature was chilly, we certainly basked in the warm welcome received from Eastern Health and Central Health, our newest UPOPOLIS sites.

We were so excited to have The Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premiere and Minister of Health and Community Services attend the event, and it was a tremendous honour for Kids' Health Links Foundation and UPOPOLIS to be spoken about by him later that day at the House Of Assembly - a short video clip can be viewed HERE!

A HUGE thank you to TELUS Health and Eastern Health Newfoundland & Labrador in particular for helping us rock "The Rock" by organizing and promoting this province-wide event!

Upopolis launches in Newfoundland and Labrador!

St. John’s – Newfoundland and Labrador will welcome TELUS Health and Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) to the province on Thursday, November 20, 2014 to make a province-wide announcement affecting pediatric patients and their access to youth-friendly medical content and social connections with families, friends and schools while undergoing treatment.

The Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services, along with representatives from Eastern Health, Central Health, TELUS Health and the Kids’ Health Links Foundation will be present for the provincial launch of this initiative.

Note to editors: Cameras and reporters welcome to attend

When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 9 a.m.

Where: Paradise Youth Treatment Centre 7 Mallow Drive (off Paradise Road)

What: Interview and Photo Opportunities: • Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador • David Diamond, President and CEO, Eastern Health • David Thomas, Vice President, TELUS Health • Basile Papaevangelou, Chairman and Founder, Kids’ Health Links Foundation

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #Upopolis.

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For more information, please contact:

Jill Yetman TELUS Media Relations 416-992-2639 jill.yetman@telus.com

April Ganong Kids’ Health Links Foundation 905-817-1717 april@kidshealthlinks.org ###